When you are in a high-pressure situation, where you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone to try something you’ve never done before, what happens? Your body locks up. You go into self-protection mode. You may start acting fearful and inhibited instead of being expressive, creative, and fun. And women notice this.
In an attempt to get more comfortable and learn to be fun, I recently took an 8-week Comedy Improv class at Upright Citizens Brigade. To my surprise, it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had taking a class. It seemed like all we did during class was play games and make believe. All the while it helped my game immensely.
Comedy improv usually involves two or more people up on stage creating a scene that is completely improvisational. Usually the scenes will start out based on asking the audience for a one word suggestion. So if someone from the audience suggested the word firefly, maybe we would do a skit of a guy hunting fireflies in the Sahara desert, for example.
How Comedy Improv Helped My Game
The most obvious way that learning improv comedy helped my game is getting used to coming up with funny impromptu things to say. At the end of the 8-week class there is a ‘graduation’ performance where you can invite anyone you want. After you do improv comedy in front of 50 people, being funny in front of a couple of girls seems easy.
And I have been funnier and have been coming up with things on the fly. I was walking down the street with two hot girls the other day and we passed a tattoo parlor. Off the top of my head I came up with “Oh my god, we should get Tattoos. I’m gonna get… a Big Wheels tattoo… on my ass. Nah, you know what? That would be gilding the lily.”
Here are just a few of the principles of improv comedy that help move the game of improv forward and also helped move my game forward:
Accept information and add to it. When you get a piece of information from somebody, you accept it as fact and add to it. In improv comedy this allows you to work with your partner, to be collaborative instead of argumentative. If your partner on stage says something about the scene like “Wow, you’re hunting fireflies with a machine gun.” You wouldn’t say “No I’m not.” You could say something like “Yes and… I was once wounded by a firefly and need to protect myself.”
This skill is great for those drawn out ‘set-the-scene’ riffs you can do in set. If she mentions roller-skating, you can say “Oh my god, we should totally go rollerskating. I’ve got an awesome speedo that I wear when I rollerskate. I like to light it on fire and dance while I’m skating. Do you wanna be one of my backup rollerskating dancer. etc.” It’s good to have the ability to make your comedy with women be collaborative not just antagonistic. Antagonism only goes so far.
Be the Expert
Watching bumbling idiots can be funny, but in improv comedy the game works better if people are experts at whatever role they choose to take on. If I am a firefly hunter, I should be an expert at firefly hunting.
One of my favorite exercises in class was “fake expert.” You would get up front of the class and be the expert on everything in the universe. They could ask you about nuclear fusion, car repair, knitting, or the Gettysburg Address. And you have to make up an answer and sound convincing. This clues you in on the nonverbal intricacies of confidence and allows you to “fake it till you make it.”
I was intrigued by the way comedy improv emphasized status given all that I’ve learned about status through pickup. They focus on status in comedy because it can make a scene funny. Sometimes one person in the scene will be high status and one will be low status. Or both can be high or or both low status. If you have a supervisor and an employee, the supervisor can play high status or low status just as the employee can be high status or low status.
Some of the things they attribute to high status behavior: Have good posture. Don’t fidget. When walking, assume other people will get out of your path. Make eye contact while speaking. Be non-reactive to other people, like Clint Eastwood. Spread out your body to full comfort and take up a lot of space. A lot of this this went along with what I’ve learned in pickup.
A great classroom exercise involved all of us walking around the room for ten minutes. At first we would all be high status, then low status, then the teacher would designate half the class to be high status and half the class to be low status and see how we interact.
This is different than the kind of commitment where a girl asks you to stop seeing other people. The commitment I’m talking about here is committing to a role. If you decide to be a lumberjack who loves small flowers then you should commit to that role 100%. You should dive in and be the best lumberjack you can possibly be. Act it out as much as possible. Take the risk. Usually you’ll be funny but sometimes you’re not. And that’s okay.
This applies to pickup in that when you open set, you need to go in 100%. You need to risk getting blown out. Women will be attracted to you when you have the balls to go up and step into their space and risk getting completely rejected. Try something new and go all out with it. You may get a huge rejection but you may also find yourself walking away with a phone number of a hot girl.
The classes I took at Upright Citizens Brigade cost $325. It was one three-hour class once a week but the three hours flew by because it was so much fun. From what I’m told, this is one of the best places in the city to take classes. The other one that comes highly recommended is Magnet. Apparently their classes are supposed to be pretty good as well.